» Goodies Clips - Eng...
» Please Release Me -...
ENGELBERT WITH THE YOUNG GENERATION
by Andrew Pixley
(from C&G #45 September 1999)
These thirteen forty-five minute variety shows were a co-production between the BBC and the German station ZDF, who - around this time - also did two German Monty Python’s Flying Circus specials. The notion was that a three or four minute film sequence from The Goodies would feature (either specially filmed or culled from the first two seasons), with most editions also having the show’s host, Engelbert Humperdinck, visiting the Goodies’ office.
However, the Goodies would not actually take part in the main recordings of the shows, the bulk of which would be Engelbert’s songs, dancing from The Young Generation and the main music guest of the week. The trio would either appear on film only or in pre-recorded sequences with Engelbert on the office set that had been taped in two separate studio sessions.
The first insert tape, VTR/75255, was recorded between 2.30pm and 3.30pm in Studio TC8 on 10th December 1971, prior to the studio recording for Charity Bounce. The three sequences recorded were to introduce:
The second insert tape, VTR/76910/ED, was recorded on the office set during January 1972; the afternoon recording on Nice Person of the Year was devoted to inserts for the main recording in the evening. This other session comprises:
The bulk of the shows were then recorded at the BBC’s Television Theatre between 8.00pm and 10.00pm a week in advance of transmission (except the edition of 27th February which was only six days in advance); much of the show was recorded twice, in both English and German. Each show was scheduled to air on BBC1 at 7.25pm on a Sunday night and the shows ran for a nominal 45 minutes. The Goodies’ contracts for the series are dated 17 January 1972 - after the broadcast of the first two shows; the first edition of Engelbert actually went out between the BBC2 debut broadcasts of Charity Bounce and Nice Person of the Year which concludes the second season. The Goodies sections of the Engelbert shows were credited as being written by Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie with Tim Brooke-Taylor - as with the standard episodes.
Seven new film inserts were shot for Engelbert with The Young Generation around January/early February time; these debut in late February, by which time the Goodies were filming the new Montreux version of Kitten Kong. Elements of these film sequences later found their way into the title sequences of The Goodies from Season Three onwards and have baffled many fans of the series as to their origin. Unfortunately, because the main sequences were shot on 16mm film, they do not feature in the camera scripts and their content is unclear; the recorded inserts with the Engelbert however were retained in the camera scripts and I have attempted to give a flavour of their content in the subsequent list.
On 25th February 1972, Duncan Wood - the Head of Comedy - wrote to the Goodies about a "Special Compilation Programme" which would use new linking material of four or five minutes duration to join together four or five of the seven inserts newly filmed for the Engelbert shows. He suggested a provision of filming for two days in early April and then one day studio recording in mid-April. The team were contracted for the programme on 9th March when the project was entitled "Goodies Compilation", with a single studio recording day planned for the end of April. The items chosen for the compilation were The Gym (4’30": now entitled Gymnasium), The Plum Pudding (3’42"), Pan’s Grannies (2’54"), Good Deed Day - Babies (2’19") and Street Entertainers (4’58"). The linking material was recorded on 26 April 1972 - about a month after the remake of Kitten Kong - under the title "A Collection of Goodies" (1152/2229 - VTC/6HT/78596/ED). The full programme ran to 24’03" and went out on BBC1 at 8.15pm on 24th September 1972; it was repeated on BBC1 at 5.05pm on 27 December 1972 and again at 7.45pm on 29 August 1974 at the of repeats of season four. An extract from "A Collection of Goodies" was subsequently shown on "Ask Aspel" around 17 October 1972, with a further extract, prompted by the repeat, on the edition of 7 January 1973.
Only one edition of the show was retained by the BBC - a colour videotape of the 27 February edition which included The Gym which is now held on D3 tape. Thus it would seem that The Country Code and Bodyguards join the original Kitten Kong as missing Goodies material; thankfully, A Collection of Goodies is held on D3.
In the following list, the title of each segment is as given on the camera scripts; these correspond with the Programme-as-Broadcast sheets for all except the first four and eighth shows.
Pets (9th January 1972: 1241/1712 - VTC/6HT/76595/ED)
Engelbert explains to the audience that he needs to have his pets exercised, and goes to hire the Goodies to do the job. In the office, he finds them lounging around, hoping that a stinking rich loony will arrive and offer them a cushy job. They are overjoyed by Engelbert’s assignment of exercising his animals. This leads into the film sequence from Kitten Kong.
Music: Dumb Animals.
Pop Festival (16th January 1972: 1241/1713 - VTC/6HT/76639/ED)
Engelbert visits the Goodies and explains that he is producing an open air pop festival and wants them to help him organise it. Included, he wants a Glee Club, a rock’n’roll band and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. This leads into the film sequence from The Music Lovers.
Music: Philharmonic Glee Club Rock and Roll Band.
Keep Fit (23rd January 1972: 1241/1714 - VTC/6HT/76872/ED)
When Engelbert visits the Goodies’ office this week, they cannot believe that it is the singer himself! The real Engelbert is so slim and fit! Engelbert explains that he is too busy to exercise and so the Goodies offer to do his exercise for him. This leads into the film sequence from The Commonwealth Games.
Post Office (30th January 1972: 1241/1715 - VTC/6HT/77279/ED)
Engelbert’s request this week when he visits the office is a very simple one; he just wants the Goodies to post some letters for him. However, Graeme reveals that he has some fantastic plans for a whole new postal service, which he outlines to Engelbert, Tim and Bill. This leads into the film sequence from Pirate Radio.
Music: Song of the GPO.
Sleepwalking (6th February 1972: 1241/1716 - VTC/6HT/77339/ED)
Engelbert has terrible insomnia and so goes to see the Goodies for a cure. Graeme’s main idea is to play Engelbert his own recording of The Last Waltz, as this puts most people to sleep. While there is no effect on Engelbert, Bill is soon asleep and walking out of the office, so Tim and Graeme must catch him. This leads into the film sequence from Snooze.
Factory Farm (13th February 1972: 1241/1717 - VTC/6HT/77341/ED)
Engelbert has been working too hard and so had bought a farm where he can relax on his days off. Unfortunately, he is so busy that he cannot get down there for the next 37 years. A visit to the Goodies’ office gains him the trio’s help in minding the farm until he can get down there and Graeme plans some labour saving modifications. This leads into the film sequence from Factory Farm.
Music: Factory Farm.
Good Deed Day (20th February 1972: 1241/1718 - VTC/6HT/77321/ED)
Engelbert has had a letter from a viewer asking "Why are the Goodies called the Goodies?" He explains that this had rather hurt the team, who have spent the entire afternoon attempting to live up to their name. This leads into a new film sequence.
Music: What Do I Have To Do To Make You Love Me? (as heard in Give Police A Chance).
Also appearing in the film sequence - uncredited - was Tessa Landers.
The Gym (27th February 1972: 1241/1719 - VTC/6HT/77621/ED)
Engelbert has had another letter from a viewer, asking "How do the Goodies move so fast?" This, he explains, is because of a great deal of hard training and he shows the new film of the Goodies keeping in shape in the gym.
Music: Goodies Music
Also appearing in the film sequence - uncredited - were Vi Ward, Reg Bundy, Bobby McNichol and Willie Bowman.
The Country Code (5th March 1972: 1241/1720 - VTC/6HT/77806/ED)
Engelbert apologises for the fact that the Goodies are not here tonight; they have been very busy making an official film for the Government about what to do in the countryside and he can now offer the viewers a sneak preview.
Also appearing in the film sequence - uncredited - were Reginald Dodd, Pat Gordino, Paul Kirby and Chris Hodge.
Street Entertainers (12th March 1972: 1241/1721 - VTC/6HT/77997/ED)
Engelbert again apologises for the Goodies not being around. The trio are currently appearing at an engagement in London’s West End. This leads into a new film sequence of the trio trying to make some cash as street entertainers.
Music: There’s No Business Like Show Business.
Also appearing in the film sequence - uncredited - were Peter Roy and Susanne France with dancers Diane Greaves, Joanne Robinson, Jane Lee, Jenny Dunster, Linda Seward, Stephanie Lawrence, Maggie Baxter, Jenny Lee Wright and Valerie Barrett.
Plum Pudding (19th March 1972: 1241/1722 - VTC/6HT/77989/ED)
Engelbert visits the Goodies and finds that they are facing a financial crisis; because he has not paid them for so long they have been forced to take in washing for the stars. Graeme is doing Tom Jones’ washing - which includes a miner’s helmet. Engelbert has a plum pudding with him and when he shows this to the starving Goodies, the ravenous Bill grabs it and runs off with it to eat it all himself. This leads into the new film sequence.
Music: Catch Me If You Can.
Also appearing in the film sequence - uncredited - were Hugh Elton, Mike Cox, Linda Regan, Rochelle Asselm, Candice Brandl and Terry Leigh. Farnham Football Team are listed as appearing in the film sequences for this show. The sequence also included stock footage 16mm footage of the England v West Germany World Cup Final from 1966.
Bodyguards (26th March 1972: 1241/1723 - VTC/6HT/78326/ED)
When Engelbert visits the Goodies’ office, he finds that they are playing darts - and using his photograph as the dart-board. The trio offer to be his personal bodyguards, and Bill reasons that the best way of proving their worth to him is by showing that they can protect a photograph of him. This leads into the new film sequence.
Music: One More Chance.
Pan’s Grannies (2nd April 1972: 1241/1724 - VTC/6HT/78291/ED)
Engelbert addresses the audience and explains that he has received a letter from the mothers of The Goodies. The old ladies very much like ‘The Young Generation’ but would also like to see something from their own age groups. To this end, they have enclosed some film of ‘The Old Generation’ - Pan’s Grannies! This leads into the film sequence.
Music: Pan’s Grannies.
Also appearing in the film sequence - uncredited - were Suzanne France, Ricky Newby, Russell Grant, Mark Denison, Bill Gaylor, Derek Tobias, Nigel Stevens.